Journal Article

ARE SEXUALLY ABUSED CHILDREN AT RISK FOR VICTIMIZATION BY PEERS?

Anne-Claude Bernard-Bonnin, Amélie Tremblay-Perreault, Martine Hébert and Claire Allard-Dansereau

in Paediatrics & Child Health

Published on behalf of Canadian Paediatric Society

Volume 23, issue suppl_1 Published in print May 2018 | ISSN: 1205-7088
Published online May 2018 | e-ISSN: 1918-1485 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pch/pxy054.009
ARE SEXUALLY ABUSED CHILDREN AT RISK FOR VICTIMIZATION BY PEERS?

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  • Neonatology
  • Primary Care
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

A few studies suggest that children who suffered maltreatment are more at risk for victimization by peers. However, there is little knowledge about factors that may influence the risk of re-victimization by peers for sexually abused (SA) children.

OBJECTIVES

Identify if self-blame and post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) are risk factors for SA children victimization by peers.

DESIGN/METHODS

376 children (248 girls and 128 boys) between 5 to 14 years of age were recruited within five centers for child and youth SA evaluation. Victimization by peers was measured with the Report Victimization Scale answered by the child, his parent and his teacher. PTSS were measured with the subscale of the Children’s Impact of Traumatic Events Scale (CITES II) and self-blame was measured with three items from the subscale guilt/blame of ​CITES II. Characteristics of the abuse were abstracted from the medical chart. Description of SA was done according to Russell’s classification: less severe (physical contact over clothing), severe (physical contact without penetration, and without using of force), very severe (attempted or actual penetration). Statistical analysis was done through logistic regression.

RESULTS

Abuse was very severe in 61% of cases and chronic in 37.4% of cases. Aggressors were family members in 53.3% of cases. Clinical level of peer victimization was reported for 19.2% of children by their own score, 9.2% by parental score and 3.6% by teacher’s score. PTSS were at the clinical level for 53.3% of children Around 60% of the sample reported feelings of blame, as indicated by at least one score of “somewhat true”on one of the three items. The dichotomized analysis (clinical vs subclinical score of victimization by peers) showed that PTSS were positively associated with the child’s peer victimization score (Exp (B) = 1.05, p<.02), and self-blame was positively associated with the parent’s peer victimization score (Exp(B)=1.23, p<.05). Results of a Sobel test revealed that PTSS completely mediated the positive relationship between self-blame and peer victimization (Standard Beta = .37, p<.01). In the final model, self-blame was positively associated with PTSS (Standard Beta = .54, p<.01), while the latter were positively associated with victimization by peers (Standard Beta = .44, p<.01). The final model explained 26.7% of the variance of victimization by peers.

CONCLUSION

These results suggest that PTSS and self-blame are key targets for intervention in order to diminish the risk of victimization by peers in SA children.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Neonatology ; Primary Care ; Child and Adolescent Psychiatry ; Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology ; Developmental Psychology

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